MDA #2 – The Rest of the Week

All Tuesday night there were numerous interruptions, someone came in about every 30 minutes, then around 7am Wednesday a crew arrived to take Maggie to her procedure.  There were five of us walking together down the hall, riding in elevators, and rolling across a sky bridge above the 2nd floor atrium.  It felt like a parade.  I joked about this with one of the nurses in our group.  She said we should have candy to throw.  I thought we should be tossing beads.  Occasionally, we passed another similar parade going in the opposite direction.  The walls may be pretty wide apart, but two rolling beds with at least two infusion hangers per bed is a lot of equipment to negotiate around another similar group headed in the opposite direction.

Maggie got her pain Thursday the afternoon and as a result is now receiving Fentynol.
She had a lot of back pain, and had to remain lying still until about 11:30 pm Wednesday night.  She thought that she would feel better after she got up and moved around, but the pain continued to be a problem.  Then the nausea got started on Thursday morning.  She lost her breakfast, had minestrone soup for lunch and skipped dinner.  After many visits from nurses, physician assistants and calls to doctors, it looks like she found the right balance of Fentynol (for pain) and Phenergrin (for nausea).  The back pain continues to be the most noticeable problem. The hospital gave her a heating pad that is a 11 x 18 inch water circulating pad, but the temperature is not warm enough.  I soaked a large towel in hot water and laid it on her back.  That gave her some relief.  She has also had persistent chest pain behind the sternum.  The chemo into the liver did induce some temporary cold sensitively which is now less noticeable.  She has continued to drink warm tea and loves her hot cocoa. 

The volunteers here at MD Anderson are a wonderful group.  Everyday a volunteer dropped by Maggie’s room to offer some type of free service or information.  Thursday they brought by a rolling holiday party complete with a boom box belting out holiday tunes, and handed out Santa hats, jingle bells and candy canes.  We’re discovering there is lots of free stuff here, too.  We checked out the hair salon in the basement floor and found they have wig services, which look like they may be complimentary for cancer patients.  There is a DVD library and lots of novels available, and they hand out craft kits.  Just about every waiting room has a large scenic puzzle under construction.  Hot coffee and tea can be found in many staff and family lounges, always ready and always free. 

The best news is that they are letting Maggie out Saturday (tomorrow)!  Maggie has really missed Chris.  It’s been a long time to be away from each other.  I feel the same way about my guy, Bob. 

Today, Maggie and I watched a DVD, Hairspray; and each of us painted three pictures using acrylics that Bob sent along for Maggie’s amusement.  The first day we were here I hung a string of LED Christmas lights around the picture of palm trees opposite the foot of Maggie’s bed.  Everyone who came to provide services thought it looked very festive.

4 thoughts on “MDA #2 – The Rest of the Week

  1. So glad to hear that the Fentanyl and Phernagan combination are working! I know Maggie missed Chris, but I’m so glad you were able to be there with her, Mary!

    Much, much love … many, many happy thoughts … and, always, continual prayers!

  2. Dear Chris and Maggie,
    I stumbled across your site while doing a search for “tumor fever” as my daughter has been diagnosed with Liposarcoma Cancer. You are both an inspiration and you are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless

  3. So happy to hear you’re through your second round of treatment! I like to think of the tumors as the mucus balls in the Mucinex commercials. They think they’ve found a nice home, but little do they know they’re about to get evicted.

    Have you tried Zofran for nausea? I found it didn’t make me sleepy like Phenergen. I had to take it every four hours for it to be effective. A friend of mine used the Zofran pump b/c pills didn’t work for her. Might give it a try if Phenergen doesn’t cut it for you.

    And now for a potentially idiotic suggestion for pain…cold socks. Put a pair of dry socks in the freezer for about 30 minutes and then plop them on your feet. The premise being that it diverts blood flow from other areas of the body, reducing pain. I know it sounds crazy (and may not be an option due to your temperature sensitivities), but it works for my son’s teething pain. Yes, I realize that your pain is more extreme than teething pain, but I feel completely helpless reading your blog all the time and wanted to pass along any little piece of information, even if it’s stupid and makes me sound like a complete idiot.

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